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Title: Psychological impacts of disaster on rescue workers : a review of the literature
Authors: Mao, X 
Fung, OWM 
Hu, X
Loke, AY 
Keywords: Acute stress disorders
Anxiety and depression
Disaster rescue workers
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Psychological sequels
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Source: International journal of disaster risk reduction, 2018, v. 27, p. 602-617 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of disaster risk reduction 
Abstract: When a disaster strikes, rescue workers are deployed to the disaster site to provide immediate rescue support to victims. Given the unpredictable and overwhelming nature of disasters, rescue workers are at risk of suffering from negative psychological consequences. The goal of this review is to explore the psychological impact of a disaster on rescue workers. In this paper, a total of 55 articles – one qualitative study, 53 quantitative studies, and one mixed-methods study – were eligible for inclusion. The rescue workers identified in the literature included fire fighters, police officers, military personnel/soldiers, healthcare professionals, and volunteers. The literature revealed that these rescue workers who were deployed to disaster sites might suffer from acute stress disorder (ASD), anxiety and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychological disorders. Generally, of all rescuers and nurses among the healthcare professionals, the unaffiliated volunteers were most susceptible to negative psychological consequences. The findings of this review indicated that rescue workers are at a high risk of experiencing psychological problems after a disaster deployment. Interventions are needed to mitigate negative psychological consequences and foster resilience in rescue workers.
ISSN: 2212-4209
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.10.020
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